Ruptured Eardrum

What is Ruptured Eardrum?

A Ruptured eardrum can happen when there is significant pressure against it, causing perforation.  The eardrum’s purpose is to protect the middle ear from outside fluid, foreign objects and any bacteria.  A ruptured eardrum can lead to middle-ear infections which could persist for longer periods than that of a standard ear infection.

People can also cause a ruptured eardrum by insertion of objects such as a cotton swab, which is commonly used for ear canal cleaning.  Exposure to sudden very loud noises can also cause enough trauma to rupture the eardrum.

What are the Symptoms of Ruptured Eardrum?

Symptoms of a ruptured eardrum can be quite painful and sudden.  It can lead to partial hearing loss which can be temporary or in some instances permanent.  Some of the most common symptoms can include;

  • Ringing in the ears (called Tinnitus)
  • Fluid drainage (which sometimes cannot be noticed right away)
  • Vertigo or general feelings of dizziness

How is Ruptured Eardrum Treated?

Ruptured eardrums can heal within a few months completely on their own.  Medications such as acetaminophen or aspirin may be recommended in order to alleviate any pain symptoms. In rare but more serious cases, a specialist may need to assess damage via a scope procedure and minor surgery to insert a patch to protect from any infection.

Prevention and protection of your hearing is vita.  People who are exposed to loud volumes on a regular basis need to protect their hearing.  In most developed countries, industrial facilities will require hearing protection to be worn.

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Last Reviewed:
October 09, 2016
Last Updated:
August 23, 2017